Marilyn Manson – Back from the dead?
Obviously, when you play in a band associated to the rock/metal/hard rock scene, it’s cool to say that your next album is gonna be “the heaviest you’ve ever recorded”. You can also say that it’s a true “way back to your roots”. However, as a listener, 99% of the time you’ll realize that all those claims weren’t true.
This time, it’s our friend Brian Warner aka Marilyn Manson who tried the “come back” trick. He kept on saying that his new record “Born Villain” would be like a new born (but not Christian, don’t worry !). Well, we gotta say that after at least two – ehm ehm – embarrassing records, this new release indeed reminds us that the God of fuck still has something to say and offer. But what about the live performance ?
We went to Le Zénith (Paris), a pretty cool venue, not too big so that you can actually enjoy more than just blurry shadows of musicians from far away. First thing I notice: the audience is totally multi-generational. Marilyn Manson has been playing music for more than 20 years and you can definitely see it when you spot the majority of people running to find a seat. Clearly, they are looking for a quiet seated show than a place as close as possible to the Reverend. But hey, no judgement. Let’s skip the horrible performance of the most annoying opening act of the year from… you know what ? I don’t even wanna name the band. If someone in the audience actually liked it, I’m willing to listen to you. It’s 10pm and the ceremony can now begin.
Marilyn Manson has had a long enough career that he could totally turn this show into a live greatest hits. And in fact, after a good version of the brand new “Hey Cruel World…”, he goes back to the amazing “Holy Wood” (“The Love Song” = love !). And then, reality strikes our ears : “No reflection” starts and confirms that what we thought was just a microphone or mix problem sadly it’s not. Marilyn Manson certainly didn’t give his best performance as a singer tonight. Sounds like he is now more able to scream (and damn, he’s good at it !) than to properly sing any melody. Unfortunately, he doesn’t even have the excuse of being too physical on stage anymore. If we can salute the talent of his musicians (especially the disturbing Twiggy Ramirez aka Jeordie White), this new version of the band is pretty… quiet ! Yes, we said it. No more crazy costumes or outrageous animations on stage, no more shocking moments, no more unpredictable behaviors, just music. If it was too much for some critics before, it is now probably not enough. I definitely wasn’t expecting a brutal song like “Irresponsible Hate Anthem” to turn into a rock tune. Yet, it happened.
In fact, the whole concert turned into a rock concert. Marilyn Manson is not playing metal/goth rock or whatever you want to call it anymore, he is not scary or provocative anymore. He is now a rock artist, and even if he does it well, there’s definitely some regret in seeing him this way… I mean, Ozzy Osbourne is “The prince of darkness”, right ? And Marilyn Manson “The God of fuck” ?
Dear Satan, time to look for a new spokesman…